Business Casual Superstar: Inspired by Stella (Sarah Chalke, “How I Met Your Mother”)

Today’s post is inspired by Stella, the dermatologist that Ted falls in love with and proposes to in “How I Met Your Mother.” She’s played by the adorable Sarah Chalke, who I’ve loved for years. The girl just lights up on screen – she’s so delightfully bubbly all the time. Plus, the actress seems adorable and we never see her stumbling out of night clubs with her knickers in her hand or being chased by three cop cars while throwing little sandwich bags of white powder out the window, and since the bar for judging Hollywood starlets is so perilously low, this means she passes with flying colors. Yay, Sarah Chalke! You’re not a train wreck!


I hated the Stella character on HIMYM for what she ended up doing to Ted. Just … what a terrible person. And Ted was way too nice to her. Everyone was way too nice to her. What a horrible person.

I did, however, love Stella’s outfits. They were lovely. So pretty and feminine and professional. Of course, she was occasionally flashing too much of her sweater puppies, but, come on, it’s TV, and they’ve figured out what sells. TV-business-casual is a wee bit different than real-life-business-casual.

Here’s the outfit I’ve picked to recreate for today – one of Stella’s few colorless outfits. But I liked it, and it’s from her first date with Ted (who often gets on my nerves but whatever).

I was going to splurge on a dress that looked quite like the skirt-and-shirt combo Stella’s wearing in this picture, but then that would leave me next to nothing for the shoes, so I figured I’d rather recreate it piece by piece and be able to include more stuff with it.

Here’s what I’ve got.

Halogen Seamed Pencil Skirt ………. $39.90
Military Shirt in Pitch Black ………. $29.99
Embossed Faux Crocodile Clutch ………. $14.80
Black Pinstripe Pumps ………. $15

I separated it into a skirt-and-shirt thing, and found this lovely skirt at Nordstrom. You really can’t go wrong with a pencil skirt – even a black denim pencil skirt manages to look professional (well, business casual) just because of the great cut and shape.

I paired it with a black shirt from Express. Apparently there’s a big thing about how female lawyers shouldn’t shop at Express. I actually think that’s more related to a crisis of sizes than it is to the Express label. Express sizes often run small, so if you buy your size, your clothing is a wee bit tight. And that tight fit is what’s really frowned on when it comes to female associates. My advice to lady lawyers or legal interns, then, is to shop at Express all you want, but make sure the fit isn’t too small. Go up a size if you have to – make sure the clothing still fits you, though. Don’t deliberately buy something slouchy and ill-fitting. Just buy something that’s not too tight, if you can manage it, what with Express’s sizes running small. (Which, frankly, I LOVE! The smallest pants there actually fit me! Length, hip, even kind of the waist! Huzzah!)

I threw in a pair of black pumps and added this little purse from Forever21. It’s not a sleek leather clutch with the white piping like Stella’s, but, whatever, I figured that it worked quite well.

And there we have a lovely business casual outfit inspired by Stella the dermatologist, who is a terrible person, all for under $100!